Hong Kong — Droves of protesters filled public parks and squares in several Hong Kong districts on Monday in a general strike staged on a weekday to draw more attention to their demands that the semi-autonomous Chinese city’s leader resign.
Protesters took over a major road outside the main government office on Monday, threw eggs and bricks at the building and punctured large water-filled barriers set up by police to keep them away. Police responded with tear gas, but the protesters did not immediately disperse.
Earlier, police used tear gas on protesters in the Wong Tai Sin district, the scene of clashes with protesters over the weekend.The general strike led to more than 200 flight cancellations at the city’s airport and protesters disrupted subway service during the morning commute.Nevertheless, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of the turbulent pro-democracy movement.Hong Kong is on “the verge of a very dangerous situation,” Lam said. She said current protests were operating with “ulterior motives” that threaten Hong Kong’s prosperity and security.”I don’t think at this point in time, resignation of myself or some of my colleagues would provide a better solution,” she said at a news conference.Police said Monday they’d arrested 420 people since June 9 and fired 1,000 rounds of tear gas and approximately 160 rubber bullets, according to the Reuters news service.The strike is the latest development in a summer of fiery demonstrations that began in June against proposed extradition legislation that would have allowed some criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. While the government has since suspended the bill, protesters have pressed on with broader calls for democratic reforms and an investigation into alleged police brutality.